Want to employ a graduate? Just text them

While the majority of employers use some form of online recruitment these
days, it still remains a linear process in many organisations. With attention
turning to how you can attract and secure next year’s high-flyers, Andy Randall
of i-GRasp offers a five-step plan for graduate recruitment

STEP 1 Throw paper application forms away You’re obligated to
maintain consistency between your online form and your paper one if it exists.
This means you can’t change the way you recruit until you drop your paper form
– being online is not the key.

STEP 2 Use different application questions for each role you hire
into. Most companies have only a small number of standard forms that they use
for everything. For example, most forms ask students about their IT skills in a
very generic way. For some roles this is irrelevant, whereas for IT jobs this
needs to be far more detailed. If you’re hiring economists perhaps you’d like
to probe knowledge of economics, but you can’t do this if there is a standard
graduate form for all disciplines.

STEP 3 Collect only necessary and sufficient information at each
point of the recruitment process – Don’t waste applicants’ time. If your
minimum entry requirement is a 2:1, ask that and only that first. If you only
take references at the offer stage for the 50 lucky candidates, don’t ask for
details of referees at the application stage from 10,000 candidates. Why do so
many forms ask for every detail of each GCSE studied?

STEP 4 Use the technology that students use Invite them for interview
by a text message and e-mail. You can bring them into a private branded part of
your website which acts like an exclusive club. Here they can choose the time
of their interview, access maps, find our more about the employer, fill in
expenses forms and try sample psychometric tests.

STEP 5 Manage rejections The ease of access of the internet means the
volume of applications you receive can rise dramatically. The way you treat
unsuccessful candidates will get around and influence the thinking of the ones
you want. Did they spend two hours filling in a form before getting a straight
rejection? How quickly do you respond at each stage of the process? It’s
important to be fast, polite and personal when dealing with people.

Andy Randall is managing director of i-GRasp


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